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Friday, December 04, 2009

Farewell Chris...

As befitted his position in the jazz hierarchy, there was a good response from those of the jazz community able to attend the funeral of Jazz North East Secretary Chris Yates at Newcastle Crematorium.
"Take The A Train" ushered the assembled friends into a warmly conducted Humanist celebration of Chris' life.
Paul Bream spoke eloquently of Chris' long and dedicated service to jazz promotion in the north east and went on to read a selection of emotive emails from fans and musicians including one from American pianist Jessica Williams.
Stephen Yates, Chris' son, spoke lovingly of his relationship with his dad as did sister Kate.
That they belonged to a close and loving family shone through with every word and their consolation must be that their lives were enriched by Chris' influence.
Likewise Laura, dignified and gracious throughout, must have felt proud to hear so many accolades for her husband even though she'd known he had those qualities for years!
Miles' version of "There is no Greater Love" allowed time for reflection and Louis' "What a Wonderful World" played us out. Possibly a surprise choice but, today, it seemed just right and, unlike at more traditional funerals I for one left feeling uplifted.
Afterwards, at The Sage, more casual memories were exchanged between musicians and fans - many of whom hadn't seen each other for years.
There was much love in that room.
Farewell Chris.

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